Genesis 14: Abram Rescues Lot

Earnest Examination

This series is presented as an honest, sincere look into the study of the Bible with my own personal theories, opinions, comments and that of others’ insights and research into what the verses could mean. I cannot claim one way or another that everything that I am stating is fact and the true meaning of what is meant in these verses.

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

Version used is from (KJV) Genesis 14

Abram Rescues Lot

1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;
It’s interesting, what a little peek into a different translation of the Bible can reveal. For instance, I did not know that when this verse states “nations”, it is also meant to mean “goiim”, or “goyim” – as can be seen in the NIV, for example. I am slowly but steadily growing more informed about this term, thanks to some readings into Jewish customs and beliefs, and that history has espoused some interesting (if not, conflicting) view points of this culture. There is so much debate and disagreements about what Judaism entails, and I cannot form a strong opinion on it one way or another because I have not studied it extensively enough.
But what I CAN say, is that it is most definitely WORTH studying, to get a clearer understanding of not only another religion’s belief structure, but also since it seems to be a key component to some of the Bible’s mysteries.
I will leave my opinion at that, and hope that if anyone reads this, that it may compel you to do the same.

2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.
So if I’m understanding this correctly, the tribes and “nations” mentioned in verse 1 engaged in war with these kings – yet there is no context about what brought about this conflict. WHY did the “nations” initiate war onto these cities?
3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.
4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
Coming down to this verse, perhaps the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah, Zeboiim, Zoar – were all subjugated by the kings of Shinar, Ellasar, Elam, and the Tidal nations. It doesn’t quite specify what the conditions were under their rule, but the obvious implications is that the ruled over cities had enough and rebelled, which seemed to have initiated the war.
5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim,
And again, there is no context about the severity of the rebellion either. What exactly did these rebelling tribes do to spur this attack?
6 And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness.
7 And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar.
8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;
9 With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.
10 And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.
11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.

Wow… am I the only one completely lost with all of this pronoun confusion that I see? I have read these verses at least 20 times trying to make sense on who is referred to as “they” in each context. Verse 7 is most undoubtedly indicating that “they” is referring to the king of Chedorlaomer (and his compatriots), but beyond that… I am having a hard time connecting who’s who.
From verse 10 to verse 11, the “they” pronoun seems to have switched ownership. Verse 10 implicates those who lost from the battle – but then verse 11 switches the meaning of “they”, I’m assuming…, to being the victors of the war. It is extremely unclear to me and leaves room for interpretation.
Of course, taking a look into other translations can provide further insight and clarification, but then there’s the question of whether they were misinterpreted or incorrectly transcribed.

12 And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
And here, by “they”, it’s most likely meant to mean the victor as well. It’s, again, unclear as to the motive of taking Lot, but perhaps this was done in an attempt to either expand upon their own city, and/or use Lot and the other citizens of Sodom as slaves/workers. There is no clear reason and it can only be implied or assumed in these contexts. The goods are an obvious motive, in order to enrich their own community or kingdom.
13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.
14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
This verse does indicate that the taking of the peoples from Sodom were to hold them captive. Again, just as a conquest of war? Or deeper motives? And there is no time frame during this conflict that could tell us how long this struggle ensued for. Days? Months? Years? Would researching/studying other texts such as the Torah/Talmud, Quran, etc. shed further light onto the information of the Bible? Is the Bible only presenting one side of the story while an engaged look into other doctrines could reveal some hidden truths?
15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

So it seems as though Abram and his army were still able to win victory over the men who captured Lot and the others, and their goods, and safely return them back home. And while the below verse indicates that they “slaughtered” Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him, it makes no mention of who took over their kingdoms after their death.

17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale.
18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
Hm… this small verse brings up some controversial topics that send some alarm bells ringing when I read it… Again, perhaps I’m overthinking things, but just within this one passage, I can see references to the transubstantiation, ritualistic practices, sacrificial rites… the debate on whether the God of Abraham is the one True God…
I’m sure that’s probably blasphemy to a lot of people, but I am not the only person to have proposed such a theory. In fact, if one can read the Bible without a blind faith and predisposed conditions on what the verses mean, one could look outside of this paradigm and come to some other interesting premises. I won’t go into too much detail, but they are highly controversial in nature and these suppositions are not to offend or criticize anyone, but just to give a glimpse into some other hypothetical queries that are, in my opinion, worth looking into.

Now, besides the allusion into the stark contrast of the God of Abraham and the One True God, who very well may be the one in the same, there is also the theory that Melchizedek is Jesus Christ, perhaps in a former incarnation. This theory derives from the verses in Hebrews 7:1-3, which states:

“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.”

“King of peace” is also referred to as Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ, although being born of Mary, was not conceived by her or by man, but allegedly by the Holy Spirit. The phrase “like the Son of God” – again, alluding to Jesus Christ, but with one key difference. Jesus Christ IS known as the Son of God. Not like the Son of God. Furthermore, if we’re going to get technical here, which I am, because it’s my effort to seek Jesus Christ and seek the Truth, I can see the obvious contrast compared to Melchizedek, and Jesus Christ.

For instance, whereas Melchizedek is congratulating and blessing Abram and his team of men for retaliating and defeating – no, not just defeating, slaughtering their enemies, Jesus Christ’s teachings, on the other hand, encourages one to love their enemies and turn their cheek against violence. …Admittedly, not sound advice when confronted with warring nations, but perhaps that’s because we as humans have a limited perception on what’s really important in life.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

Again, there is the questionable addressing of the pronouns here. The verses start out as Melchizedek blessing Abram and his crew for taking down the enemy and recovering the goods and rescuing their people. Then it segues into “And he gave him tithes of all.” This, to me, would imply that Melchizedek, upon blessing Abram, gave Abram the offering. But this is not the case. Instead, it is Abram who gives the offering – presumably from the spoils of the war, to Melchizedek. And herein lies another huge contrast between Melchizedek and Jesus Christ. Jesus wanted nothing to do with riches, material gain, etc. Instead, he preached to give one’s possessions away and to follow Him. And the True blessing to be received in Heaven into the Kingdom of God. So why was the focus here with Abram upon material possessions, lands, cattle, etc.?
21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:

Here are more references to material gain and riches. Goods, wealth, …stuff. There is an interesting lack of “spirituality” about this whole chapter. Now, while the efforts to save one’s own nation is undoubtedly important, the question soon boils down to, what necessitated it to begin with? What initially led to the rebellion of the five nations against the four kingdoms to begin with? Were they under an oppressive rule? What caused the breakaway and revolution? Living alongside/with other factions, etc. for 12 years, to then create a rebellion in the 13th year, followed by a full-blown attack in the 14th year… It does say that the five kingdoms served Chedorlaomer so perhaps it was a slavery of sorts. Of course, it seems as if Chedorlaomer is only mentioned in this chapter of the Bible, with no other references, so this would be based on supposition of the terminology used alone. Anything else surmised would be based on conjecture.
24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

I know sometimes it would seem as if I’m questioning the veracity of the Bible’s origins, and while that may be true in some sense, it is not meant to presume, condemn, or ridicule, and certainly not meant to certify the propositions I set forth. It is only to get a clearer understanding of the meanings of the Bible, and the possibility that during so many transitions and translation efforts, and perhaps intentional/unintentional mishandling and misinterpretations, that the Truth along the way may have been concealed more than we’d like.

And as usual, I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

Fair use disclaimer: Some of the links from this article are provided from different sources/sites to give the reader extra information and cite the sources, but does not necessarily mean that I endorse the contents of the site itself. Additionally, I have tried to provide links to the contents that I used from other sites as an educational and/or entertainment means only; if you feel that any information deserves further citation or request to be clarified, please let me know through the contact page.

Featured image by Gnattyone from Pixabay

Genesis 12: The Call of Abram

Earnest Examination

This series is presented as an honest, sincere look into the study of the Bible with my own personal theories, opinions, comments and that of others’ insights and research into what the verses could mean. I cannot claim one way or another that everything that I am stating is fact and the true meaning of what is meant in these verses.

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

Version used is from biblestudytools.com (NKJV) Genesis 12

The Call of Abram

1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
This verse seems like a contradiction to me. First it says that “I will bless those who bless you”, and then, “I will curse him who curses you”, yet in the very next section it states, “and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” …Doesn’t the last part of the sentence cancel out the first portion? Unless EVERYONE blesses Abram, then not all of the families on earth will be blessed. So this sounds a little confusing to me.
4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.
6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.
7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
9 So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.

Abram in Egypt

10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land.
11 And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance.
12 Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live.
I don’t understand the customs of each nation, but it’s interesting that Abram’s first instinct is that the Egyptians will kill him presumably to steal his wife from him. It’s also interesting to note that Abram is very well aware of his wife’s beauty, and it’s for this reason that he feels as if he would be looked at in hostility by the Egyptians simply for being the husband of a “beautiful” woman.
It’s also very telling that even during the birth of all the nations, that physical looks has so much influence on people’s lives. No one can help how they are born and what physical features they’re born with (or can they…?) so to automatically judge someone based on their looks seems like such a strange concept to me. Of course, if one were inclined to believe that to be born with physical beauty is a ‘blessing from the gods’ or good karma, etc. then I can see why people would feel as if “beautiful” people are blessed – but as we can see in today’s society, this is most certainly NOT TRUE, as even some of the most beautiful people are corrupted to the core. So it all boils down to what is aesthetically pleasing in someone’s eyes, and that they could ultimately care less what kind of personality the person has, as long as they’re beautiful.
This is, of course, not speaking for everyone, but just a mentality that some people hold.

13 Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.”
Was this plan strictly coming from Abram? Was he going with his gut instinct? It seemed to work well, in the end, but it would be nice to know where this intuition came from. A voice outside of his own being? His own conscience? The Lord Himself? Well, it’s probably not the Lord since if it was so, then that would imply that the Lord directly told Abram to lie, and that’s not righteous or holy, correct? God is Truth, so it wouldn’t make sense for Him to guide someone else into lying.
14 So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful.
15 The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house.
16 He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
Wow, so just because someone’s ‘sibling’ is BEAUTIFUL, they get to be treated like a “king” just to remain in good standing with the person they potentially want to pursue relationships with. Is that really what natural selection dictates? Do we not care what character a person has, but instead put all (most?) of our emphasis on looks?
17 But the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.
So… I have a bone to pick with our Lord. It is apparent that the Lord can dictate to whom He sends curses and plagues down into. He aimed deliberately for Pharaoh’s kingdom and his house, all because Abram lied to the Pharaoh about Sarai being his sister instead of his wife and that Pharaoh made an honest mistake. According to this account. So here’s the clueless Pharaoh, not even realizing why he’s being plagued (and I’m not stating that the Pharaoh is completely innocent in this dealing, by the way, because like Abram stated, perhaps they really would have killed him if they had known right away that he was Sarai’s husband) and it makes me wonder how much the Pharaoh believes in the same Lord that Abram does.
So my problem with this ordeal is that for God to initiate this very targeted attack on the Pharaoh for picking on His blessed family, it implies that God can do this to whomever He wants, whenever He wants, and for whatever reason He wants. So to still allow incredibly evil acts to run rampant instead of ‘smiting’ or sending down plagues against corrupted individuals, when they do TRULY awful things, is a very severe oversight and the reason for a lot of people not believing in God. I went through this very same phase when I was younger, thinking that if God exists, how could He allow such evil to continue? Of course, we don’t know all the mysteries and plans involved in this strange world and in our lives, and that ‘free will’ plays a huge part in the way our world is run, but for an almighty God to literally send plagues to an Egyptian ruler simply because he was misled in believing that a particular woman is single, meanwhile millions of kids are starving to death and being sold/trafficked to truly horrendous people – the comparison doesn’t even make sense.

18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?
19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.”

Even though lying is technically wrong, and satan himself is called Father of Lies, I’m wondering if there is truly a distinction between lying to manipulatively deceive someone, and lying for ‘the better good’. Abram’s lie was to protect himself because he knew, somehow, that he would be on the chopping block if the Egyptians realized that he was Sarai’s husband. And in so doing, he was also protecting Sarai from being kidnapped, essentially, to an unknown life that she may not be accustomed to or appreciate. So it does bring up the question if it’s ever okay to lie.
Some people bring up the fact that one of the 10 commandments is “Thou shall not lie”, but that’s not exactly what it says or implies. The actual commandment is, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”. Meaning we shouldn’t slander or lie about our neighbor’s (fellow peoples) deeds. However, since Jesus Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”, it goes without saying that probably the best way to maintain righteousness is to stay in Truth. After all, if Abram was already being looked out for by God Himself, then Abram very well could have told the truth that he is Sarai’s husband, and no matter what the Egyptians tried to do to him, it wouldn’t pan out for them anyway.

20 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.

This was a very interesting look into the relationship between God and Abram, and how much the Lord really did to protect Abram and Sarai from possible subjugation of the Egyptians. It does bring up to question though if God still works this way on a personal level like He did back in these biblical times. And if He is working this way, perhaps many of us just don’t know about it.

As usual, I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

Fair use disclaimer: Some of the links from this article are provided from different sources/sites to give the reader extra information and cite the sources, but does not necessarily mean that I endorse the contents of the site itself. Additionally, I have tried to provide links to the contents that I used from other sites as an educational and/or entertainment means only; if you feel that any information deserves further citation or request to be clarified, please let me know through the contact page.

Featured image by Gnattyone from Pixabay

Genesis 10: The Table of Nations

Earnest Examination

This series is presented as an honest, sincere look into the study of the Bible with my own personal theories, opinions, comments and that of others’ insights and research into what the verses could mean. I cannot claim one way or another that everything that I am stating is fact and the true meaning of what is meant in these verses.

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

All verses used are from biblestudytools.com (NIV) Genesis 10

The Table of Nations

1 This is the account of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons, who themselves had sons after the flood.

The Japhethites

2 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshek and Tiras.
3 The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah.
4 The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittites and the Rodanites.

Unfortunately, since my knowledge about the people of the Bible isn’t as extensive as I’d like, I can only mention that I personally have only heard of Magog from these group of men. And Gomer sounds a bit familiar. The other names I don’t recall at all. And I only know of the name Magog due to reading up prophecies of the “end times”.
5 (From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.)
These verses confuse me a little bit. Are we to assume that these Japhethites, Hamites and Shemites spread out into their own nations and created their own languages? Or is this in conjunction with the other descendants of Noah’s sons and due to the attempt at reaching the heavens like we see in the next chapter? This chapter seems to indicate that these groups spread out of their own accord instead of being forced to do it. Yet in the next chapter we learn of the Tower of Babel and how the people were trying to build this tower as a rebellious act against God. Are both of these theories correct, in a way?

The Hamites

6 The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan.
Now these names are more familiar to me. Everyone other than Put I have heard of before. I am a bit perplexed, though, at the use of “Egypt” instead of Mizraim, as some other versions state. I think from now I am going to use the NKJV instead of NIV. Offsetting some of these versions with the Wycliffe version seems to indicate that the NKJV is a bit closer to the correct translation, although I can’t be completely sure on that. (Which would I rather trust… the Roman Catholic Church… or a man who found out that the church was hiding the real meanings of the Bible and wanted to keep the secret translations to themselves (either in order to mislead the public, and/or to keep them dependent on them?) …I think the answer speaks for itself.)
7 The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah and Sabteka. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.
8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth.
9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.”

And here we see the name Nimrod. A very famous name and was widely known to be the first tyrant and the cause of the rebellion against God after the flood. Some biblical scholars also theorize that Nimrod and King Gilgamesh are one in the same. And when you have what may be scientific evidence of King Gilgamesh’s remains, the intrigue into the Epic of Gilgamesh/Nimrod becomes a fascinating study into the origins of the Bible.
Who was Nimrod? Was he a giant? Nephilim, perhaps? A fallen angel, maybe?
The theory that Nimrod may have been a Nephilim, lends a possibility that fallen angels could have survived the flood, and resumed their co-habitation with the people who filled the land from Noah and his extended family. Perhaps the fallen angels are more of a spiritual entity and thus wouldn’t need to “survive” a flood in the physical sense, but would have to find a suitable host to possess who would allow them to take over.
This is, of course, just speculation, but is an interesting food for thought to consider.

10 The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar.
Babylon is the only name I recognize in this verse, other than Shinar. Uruk sounds vaguely familiar, but Babylon and Shinar are the only two that I have knowledge on as far as some biblical history. Of course, Babylon, due to the great wickedness that is rampant in this nation, and the prophecies of Revelation that, obviously, we have a long way to get there. (…I actually may do that chapter next after I complete Genesis and then continue with the rest of the Old Testament in order.) We’ll see in the next chapter the hubris and pride that this nation takes in order to defy God and try to usurp His throne, basically. (Which brings me to the topic of the “firmament”, which I will most likely do a whole post on eventually.)
11 From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah
In this verse, the only name I’m familiar with is Nineveh (and Assyria), because of the tale of Jonah. I wish all nations would put aside their pride and arrogance and wickedness to repent as Nineveh did when Jonah preached to them. Is it honestly too much to ask to live righteously and humbly, rather than swimming in vices and sin? Do we really prefer to live in debauchery and hate, rather than peace and love? I don’t know about you, but I would rather my children grow up in harmony and joy rather than sin and wickedness.
12 and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah—which is the great city.
13 Egypt was the father of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites,
14 Pathrusites, Kasluhites (from whom the Philistines came) and Caphtorites.
15 Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites,
Most of the names above I don’t recognize, other than the Philistines and Canaan. Obviously Canaan due to the previous chapter, and also the Canaanites, which are surrounded in controversy, as we’ll see in later chapters. I can’t help but wonder though, was the way the Canaanites turned out (sinful, wicked, etc.) due to the treatment that Canaan received by Noah because of his animosity towards Ham? In the previous chapter, we read that Noah cursed Canaan, instead of Ham even though it was Ham who grieved him. Could the harsh treatment from Canaan’s grandfather (Noah) have set a precedent against him and thus, the nation that became the Canaanites? What if Noah never cursed Canaan and instead still treated him with love and compassion?
And the Philistines were known throughout history as an aggressive and war-mongering people. But isn’t it interesting that even though ALL of these people were descendants of just three people (in essence, Noah and his wife – and before that, Adam and Eve), each clan/nation had their own ideologies and belief structures – even though every single one of them came from either Ham, Shem or Japheth. How were they raised? Did each brother have their own idea about the flood and who/what God is? Did they pass their own belief down to their own children, and their children’s children, and so on and so forth?
Do people just “forget” history and the tragedy that could arise from falling into a wicked lifestyle? God found Noah and his three sons righteous enough to continue their lineage. Yet soon after the flood, Ham turned his back to his own father, and, in a sense, God also. Shem and Japheth were still honoring their father by covering him at that point. So during all those years, what were the beliefs being passed down? How could it go from God personally saving 8 people, to a sudden betrayal of God and the worship of several other deities? That’s not to say that all the nations/groups worshipped multiple gods, but that several groups did – Egyptians, Canaanites, Babylonians, etc. Did some of these people, perhaps, become disillusioned with a God who would destroy most of the population? Or did they simply refuse to live righteously as God wanted them to?

16 Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites,
17 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites,
18 Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Later the Canaanite clans scattered
19 and the borders of Canaan reached from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, as far as Lasha.
I really wish I had paid a little bit more attention in geography, but since I’m not too familiar with many of the names listed above, but still would like to get a visual of the borders and nations that it mentions, I have included a map below:

These are speculated locations based off of the descriptions from the Bible. It gives us a glimpse of what it may have looked like with the nations spreading out.

20 These are the sons of Ham by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations.

The Semites

21 Sons were also born to Shem, whose older brother was Japheth; Shem was the ancestor of all the sons of Eber.
22 The sons of Shem: Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram.
23 The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshek.
24 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah, and Shelah the father of Eber.
25 Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan.
26 Joktan was the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah,
27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah,
28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba,
29 Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. All these were sons of Joktan.
30 The region where they lived stretched from Mesha toward Sephar, in the eastern hill country.
31 These are the sons of Shem by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations.
32 These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their lines of descent, within their nations. From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood.
Unfortunately, I am not at all familiar with most of the names on this list. But the Semites are an interesting subject in its own right. Many people may have heard the term “anti-semitic”, which has been the topic of MUCH debate in our society. Why do so many people hold such animosity and vitriol towards this particular group of people? There is also the hotly contested definition of what a Semite is, to begin with. It seems as if quite a lot of people are in disagreement over this term, and thus that alone causes a lot of hostility and even hatred towards each other. Until everyone can find common ground and be on the same page, this subject will continue to be the cause of division and conflict across the world.

And what am I to make of these verses compared to the ones on the next chapter with the Tower of Babel story? Am I to assume that they did not spread out over the Earth until God separated them due to their rebellious nature? Or were only a few nations involved in this rebellious act against God? I suppose I’ll just have to wait for the next chapter to fully get my answer. Although just looking at the first verse states, “Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

Once I research more and get a better feel of the biblical names and locations of those listed in this chapter, I will have to come back to edit and fill in the spaces. As it is now, this chapter gives us a good feel of how the many different nations may have started, and the groups that were involved in it. I think each nation/group deserves an extensive study and research in its own right, but to cover all of it in depth here would be a little too-detailed.

As usual, I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

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